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Saturday, 11 March 2023

Some more everyday shirts

 I made some more everyday shirts (last year- I'm still very behind on blogging), and they're all so similar that they don't need individual blog posts. (I really need to make an updated shirt construction post but here's the most complete one I have right now.)

The first two are both made from Summer Breeze weight linen from Pure Linen Envy. The first one is in Flint Grey.

I usually do thread buttons for my shirt collars, but this time I used mother of pearl because I had a couple of blue tinted ones that went well with the blueish grey. (Not historically accurate for 18th century shirts, but neither is the colour or the machine stitching, and it's for my everyday wardrobe so it doesn't matter.)


All 3 of these shirts have cuffs that take sleeve links.
I used light blue crochet cotton for the buttonholes because my local store has absolutely no grey crochet cotton. The bar tack at the front is done with grey linen.
I've gotten pretty good at doing the heart shaped reinforcements by machine. (With hand basting first, of course.)

The second shirt is in Spruce Green, and I was able to sew both it and the grey one in the same thread, because I had a medium grey coloured thread that worked with both fabrics.



I did my usual Dorset wheel buttons for this one, and all the buttonholes are in the same cotton pearl, which was the closest green I had in my stash.


And this last one is an off-white linen I got from my local Fabricville quite a few years ago. It's a bit of a heavier weight than the other two.

Here it is with my monster print waistcoat.





For this one I made a couple of bird's eye Dorset buttons using the Gina B. Silkworks tutorial, but I don't think I did my stitches tight enough around the little ring of rolled up fabric, because they got a bit squishy after a while. They worked just fine, but I found the squishiness unpleasant to touch, so I replaced them with Dorset Wheels a couple weeks ago.
I'd like to try making the bird's eye buttons again, and try to get them more firm.
I had to cut the body in 2 pieces because I had an odd shaped remnant that didn't fit the entire body on it, but you can't tell because it's under the shoulder strip.

The left cuff turned out uncomfortably tight, and I was hoping it would loosen up with wear, but it didn't. I ended up unpicking one end and adding a longer piece on.

 

Thursday, 2 February 2023

Leafkerchief Video

 It's finally finished! I've had most of this video filmed for well over a year, and couldn't edit it for quite a while because my old computer became too feeble and would freeze and crash, but now it's finally posted and I'm so glad to be done with it! 


In my blog post about the first leafkerchief I made, way back in July 2021, I go over how I sewed and painted it, and included a pattern diagram. 

In this video I sew two similar ones, and a simpler version, try some different painting methods (Here's a link to the little squeezy bottles. Not where I got mine, but they look the same.) I also go over how I draft the patterns.

I didn't get any progress photos of these because I was too focused on filming them, oops!



 




This last one is made from the same pattern as the original dark green one, which is in the other post, but I'll put it here too just to have all 3 in the same place.




Sunday, 29 January 2023

2022 in Review

 Oh heck, we're nearing the end of January already and I still haven't done a year in review post! And I have now had this blog for a full decade, so happy birthday to it!

Last year I waited until I'd caught up on blogging all the sewing projects individually, and I'm still behind on posting the ones I sewed in 2022, but won't wait that long to do the year in review post.
I'll leave links to the blog posts I have done, and will update this with the rest of the links when I get around to posting them. (Though for some of the small things, like my sewing machine cover, I won't do an entire post.)

Alright, here are all the things I made:

A light green leafkerchief. I have a blog post on the first one I made, and this is one of the 3 that I made for my video tutorial.

Black linen pants. Very important to have for the middle of summer, and I want to make more! I only have one other linen pair, and it needs patching.

Brown corduroy pants. Nice and comfy.
Navy blue wool coat. I'm happy with it, even if the sleeves are a little on the tight side, and I got to use up some fabric I've had since high school. 
Wearable mockup of the velvet robe from Our Flag Means Death. I've worn it a few times, and it's ok, but the final robe will be much nicer once it's done. I enjoyed the costumes in Our Flag Means Death a lot more than I expected to, and did a 2 part guest post on Frock Flicks about them.
I made a couple of nightgowns based on an extant 18th century one! The first one needed a few pattern changes, but the second one was just right. I've now made a third one, and will post them all in the same post. 
I'm also going to make at least one version in white with ruffles, like the original
They're both made from thrifted cotton bedsheets.
Hand sewn early 18th century shirt that closes at the collar with a ribbon. Pretty pleased with this one. I prefer buttons on the collar for practicality, but the ribbon really looks nice, and you can get a variety of fancy photos with it.
I made 3 more linen shirts, these ones are machine sewn for everyday. 
First an off white one, then a dark green and a grey.

A swimsuit. This had been sitting unfinished on The Pile for a few years, but I realized that there's a domestic machine up on the shelf at work that can do zig zag, so I brought it in on one of my days off and sewed it up. It's not super historically accurate, and could be better, but it's done and it fits.
I made 6 grocery bags. Besides the 4 shown here, I did a second identical purple one, and a light green mottled one. All the fabric was from my stash. The bird fabric is one that I designed & screenprinted when I was in college, and the one with the neon sea creatures is my Cambrian Bowling Alley Carpet design.
I gave the bird one to my sister.
I had just enough of the letter print canvas to make a cover for my sewing machine, which is missing its original wooden lid.
I made 2 pairs of pyjama bottoms, because all my store bought ones have worn out.
And a simple wool hat, because my knit one doesn't block the wind or cover the bottoms of my ears.
These yellow silk late 18th century breeches were technically finished in 2022, but are back on The Pile because I'm altering them. The fall is too high and it makes the position of the centre front button look bad, so I'm trimming it down a bit.
I don't do commissions. I hate doing commissions and I never do them. But I did one little one this past year, since it was just 6 buttons
Just a tiny thing, but here's a sample of a metallic buttonhole technique I was very excited about. I hope to do them on an actual garment this year.
I made some other useful but rather uninteresting things, like these tea towels. They were a linen tablecloth I got for a few dollars at an estate sale, and quartered and hemmed. The print was already perfectly separated into 4, so it looked like it wanted to be tea towels.
I made a plain brown wool pincushion. I hemmed a large block printed cotton panel and re-did the fringe on a piece of cotton ikat.

Oh, I also got a mannequin for free because they had too many at work and wanted to get rid of a few! Technically it was at the start of January that I took him out of the store, but it was in December that I was told I could.
He's in my parents basement because I don't have space in the apartment. There's some slight damage that needs repairing, and I'd like to try altering him to fit my measurements better, but that's something that'll have to wait for warmer weather because there isn't any good ventilated indoor space where I can do that.

Let's see how I did on my very short list of goals for 2022.

"Bring most of my machine sewing tasks to my workplace to do on the industrial machine when there's no work to do." I have no idea why I said "most" here, when that's so so little time compared to how much time I have at home to sew. I did do some - my grocery bags and all the construction seams on my brown corduroy pants were done at work, but I haven't had much spare time at work. 

Even when business it slow I don't usually have time left at the end of the shift, I just have fewer shifts. In last year's post I specifically mention regretting leaving work early a lot when I could have worked on my own sewing for a bit, but that barely happened at all in 2022. I guess my co-workers have been scheduling more stuff in the day slots.
I could go to work on one of my days off to work on stuff, and I have done that a few times, but it's such a long bus ride that it's usually not worth it unless I need to use the serger. 

"Get a more powerful computer so I can actually edit videos." I did! Pretty late in the year, but I finally got one. I still haven't finished editing that leafkerchief video I started over a year ago, but it's getting close to done.

"Try to keep a good balance between time spent sewing and working on repeating patterns." Didn't do very good at all with this one. I released a few more Spoonflower prints at the beginning of February, but almost all of the work on those was done in 2021. I did work a little bit on some repeating patterns in 2022, but didn't finish any.

"Do more Historical Sew Monthly items than I did last year. This ought to be easy." Yes! In 2021 I did 1 HSM submission, and in 2022 I did 2. This is very little, I know, but I've been focusing more on everyday clothes, and they're usually not historically accurate enough to qualify for the HSM.

"Make more wardrobe basics, and do some planning to figure out what things I'd get the most use out of." Most of the things I sewed this year were for my everyday wardrobe! I didn't sit down and do any serious wardrobe planning, but I think I did do a decent job of making things my wardrobe needs. Nightgowns are something I didn't have enough of, and I'm still sorely lacking in pants and pyjama bottoms, but at least I have a few more now. (I'd have an ok number of pants if I'd just patch the holes on my other 3 pairs.)

I could have sworn I had "Make or buy a camera bag" on my goals list for one of the recent years, but I guess I thought it but didn't write it down. And I still have a bag-less camera. Huh. 

For at least a couple years I had "buy less fabric" as a goal, and I'd been doing really well at that, so stopped writing it. I order a little bit of fabric online occasionally, and barely ever get any from Fabricville. This year I bought more fabric than usual, but almost all of it was from the thrift store. I've been trying to go to Value Village and touch all the fabrics at least a couple times a month, and have found some really great stuff.
Some vintage linen, multiple pieces of nice wool, vintage rayon velvet ribbon, a black silk brocade obi, and an incredible piece of cotton jacquard that I need to overdye because it's a terrible colour on me.

I think the only new fabrics I bought were the cotton velvet and sateen lining for my still in-progress pirate wrapping gown, and the disappointing pink & gold brocade that was listed as silk but turned out to be polyester. (And the fill-a-yard proofs for those patterns I did last winter, but that doesn't count, since it's necessary for selling on Spoonflower.) Oh, and I also bought a bit of unbleached cotton canvas because I want to make some grocery bags with the pirate flag designs on them. So I guess all the new fabric I bought in 2022 was because of Our Flag Means Death.

I also got rid of a fair amount of fabric in 2022 though! One of my co-workers is just getting into sewing garments, and isn't picky about fibre content like I've gotten to be, so I gave him most of my synthetics. And all my zippers and elastic, because I never use them, and some of my extra plastic buttons. I'm happy to have freed up the space, and he's happy to have a fabric stash, hooray! 

I will continue to do my best to be restrained and purposeful when buying new fabrics, but shan't pass up Good Stuff at the thrift store. 

A long list of year-old goals I did badly on is awfully discouraging, so I'll try to keep it fairly short again.

Goals for 2023:

  • Make it a top priority to eat breakfast immediately upon waking up. This may not sound sewing related, but it definitely helps me accomplish more things.
  • Make something digitally drawn to-shape and printed using ArtFabrics. I've wanted to make something printed-to-shape for so long, and I have the technology to do it. Scanner, computer, and drawing tablet. I must make Something!
  • Finish that 1830's patchwork dressing gown. I have other stagnating long term projects, but this is the only one I'll put on the goals list, since I'm trying to keep it short. The patchwork is all done! I just need to do the construction, which is the much faster part!
  • Make more everyday pants. Also repair the holes in the aforementioned 3 pairs of pants. I keep wearing them out really quickly because I never make them frequently enough, and when you only have one or two of something and wear it all the time it doesn't last long. And I want to have more variety in colour and fabric weight, it annoys me to wear black pants with my brown waistcoat. Speaking of which.
  • Replace that damn brown wool waistcoat already. It's so shabby and ill-fitting these days, but it's one of my only options for winter. I'd like to make several new everyday wool waistcoats. At the very least I'd like a black one and a brown one.
  • Make a new batch of dinosaur patterns for Spoonflower. I've got a million ideas for patterns, and some other unfinished ones, but am just putting dinosaurs on this list because it's very doable and because they're pretty popular.
  • Try to schedule more of my Patreon posts ahead of time. I've always gotten all the promised posts out every month, but I'd like to be more organized about it.
Ok, I think that's a decent list! Hopefully I'll get caught up on blogging last year's sewing projects before spring, but we'll see...